SFL Div One: HAMILTON 0 DUNFERMLINE 2 : Date: 09/02/13
For the return to New Douglas Park Jim Jefferies made two changes from the side that was unsuccessful the previous week in the Scottish Cup. Out went Ross Millen and Stephen Husband and in came Stephen Jordan and Chris Kane. The Pars midfield pairing of Kane and Byrne both only 19 years of age.
Hamilton made one change Grant Gillespie in for the suspended captain Alex Neil and it was the Pars who got the game underway through Andy Kirk and Ryan Wallace. In the third minute Callum Morris threaded a fine pass to Joe Cardle and he drove into the Accies box but when Wallace received the ball he failed to get a shot in.
Within a minute however Wallace did get an opportunity from the right side of the box and Kevin Cuthbert was forced to touch the ball over for the first corner of the afternoon. When Wallace sent that in from the right his low delivery was met by Morris but his aim was over the top.
There was a promising break by Dunfermline in ninth minute when Jordan McMillan sent Wallace down the right and he did really well to cut the ball back to the top of the box but Hamilton cleared. Next Cardle was gifted possession by Martin Canning but his pass for Kirk was intercepted. Pressure continued however with Josh Falkingham forcing Cuthbert into another save.
In 14 minute Wallace did well to turn his man at a throw in on the right and he switched play square for Jordan to accept the chance to shoot from 30 yards out but off target. Hamilton had been restricted to a free kick towards the Pars box before Ali Crawford curled over a 17th minute ball from the left touchline to make Paul Gallacher get involved for what felt like the first time.
Hamilton came forward again in 22 minutes and Ziggy Gordon's firm cross required an equally firm clearance to deny service to Stevie May. At the other end Byrne produced some good close control to send over a cross from the byeline but the defence scrambled the ball away from the Pars strikers.
In 27 minutes Jim Jefferies was forced into his first substitution of the match when Stephen Jordan's thigh caused him to be replaced by Ross Millen. Jordan McMillan switched to left back with the no.15 slotting in to his preferred position. Two Wallace corners for the visitors in 32 minutes were both met by Dowie headers but the second was over the crossbar.
Ten minutes from the interval Falkingham was taken out from behind by Gillespie, right in front of referee Bobby Madden but no whistle. There were ironic cheers from the 200 travelling fans when the ref next gave the Pars a decision 30 yards out. Wallace whipped over the free kick and KIRK met it perfectly to head past Cuthbert who could only claw the fresh air. Andy's first goal since against Dumbarton in September - 1-0.
A good conclusion to the first half, one that Dunfermline had fought hard to produce a better showing than they had done seven days before. Kane and Byrne had looked good in the middle of the park and the central defence had completely silenced the threat of the danger from striker May.
Half Time: Hamilton 0 Dunfermline 1
In 47 minutes Kane and Byrne brought the ball out of defence and when Wallace received the pass a tug on him gave him a free kick to flight into the Accies box but the Lanarkshire defence cleared. Page was shown yellow for his tackle on Kirk on the left and when Wallace sent in the cross from the free kick, Kirk came close to placing his head on the chance.
The Pars created further problems for the home defence when Wallace beat his marker and centred but Canning on six yards headed clear. Falkingham won the defended ball and flashed a shot narrowly over the crossbar. In 57 minutes Gallacher was put under pressure by May after Dowie had sent the ball back to him. The misclearance landed at the feet of Crawford and fortunately his effort from 30 yards went well wide left of target.
In 63 minutes Dunfermline took their chance from a corner kick on the left. Chris KANE scored his debut goal for Dunfermline ghosting in to flash Wallace's delivery into the Accies net. 2-0
Hamilton struck back three minutes later when Louis Longridge got deep into the Pars box on the right. He beat Gallacher with the cross and GILLESPIE was on hand to despatch the ball into the net. 2-1. The home side kept pressing. May sent a controversial free kick well over the Pars wall and crossbar and then the Fifers defence prevented May from shooting and it was full back Stephen Hendrie who got in the shot but well wide left.
Gillespie next tormented the Pars defence with a strong run and Gall had to pull off a great save. The introduction of Ryan and Fisher had given Accies a lot more say in midfield and the home fans encouraged a come back. Dowie required physio Kenny Murray to be called into action in 78 minutes but he was able to continue.
May caused more mayhem with a good driving run but Morris did equally well to win back possession. Ryan Thomson replaced Ryan Wallace in 82 minutes and next Falkingham skimmed the top of the net with a powerful shot. Mikey Devlin came on for Hendrie as Hamilton went with just three at the back.
Cardle broke down the left in 87 minutes, his shot was blocked and then Byrne's shot deflected past. A further two chances to break then fell to Joe but the first was robbed off him and he was caught offside at the second. Hamilton did everything but score in added time. They hit the crossbar, Gallacher fisted clear and Dowie's header kept out a Longridge drive. Phew!
In the end two goals were enough to secure the three points for the Pars and record their second win of the campaign at New Douglas Park.
HAMILTON ACCIES: Kevin Cuthbert; Ziggy Gordon, Martin Canning, Jonathon Page, Stephen Hendrie (Michael Devlin 84); Grant Gillespie; Jonathon Routledge, Darian MacKinnon (Andy Ryan 63), Louis Longridge, Ali Crawford (Gary Fisher 65); Stevie May.
SUBS NOT USED: Scott Christie (GK), Gary Fraser,
YELLOW CARD: Page (50)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie, Callum Morris, Stephen Jordan (Ross Millen 27); Shaun Byrne, Chris Kane,Joe Cardle (Alex Whittle 94); Josh Falkingham; Andy Kirk, Ryan Wallace (Ryan Thomson 82).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Dargo, Michal Hrivnak (GK).
SCORER: Kirk (37), Kane (64)
YELLOW CARD: Kane (60)
REFEREE: Bobby Madden
WEATHER: Damp, Overcast 5ºC
NEXT MATCH: (away) Scottish First Division v Cowdenbeath
Tuesday 12th February, Kick Off 7.45pm
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